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Part III The Prohibition of the Use of Force, Self-Defence, and Other Concepts, Ch.34 Theatre of Operations

Jean-Christophe Martin

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 October 2023

Armed conflict, international — Armed conflict, non-international — Military assistance — Humanitarian intervention — Belligerents — Warfare, air — Warfare, land — Warfare, sea — Armed forces — Terrorism — Terrorism, financing — UN Charter — Airspace — Air law and law of outer space — High seas — Exclusive economic zone — Delimitation — Territorial sea

This chapter explores ‘theatre of operations’ as a legal concept in international law, with emphasis on the geographical extent—‘boundaries of the battlefield’—of the use of force by belligerents. It addresses the meaning of ‘theatre of operations’ by considering two legal issues: the right of parties to an armed conflict to conduct military operations and the applicable law to armed operations carried out beyond the borders of a state. It examines the notion of the area of war in the context of jus in bello, jus ad bellum, and actions taken by the UN Security Council in response to armed conflicts, with reference to security and exclusion zones. It identifies ‘protected zones’ in which military operations are excluded based on the international law of armed conflicts and looks at issues raised by cyber warfare pertaining to the applicability of classic provisions of jus ad bellum and jus in bello.

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